Press Releases

Defending Our Environmental Laws

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Defending Our Environmental Laws

Joint program by the LSU Student Sierra Coalition and the Baton Rouge Group of the Sierra Club

America’s environmental laws and protection, the result of decades of citizen advocacy, governmental action, and scientific research, are under attack by a hostile Congress and White House. Learn how ordinary citizens can stand up for clean air, clean water, and our public lands!

Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 630pm

Sierra Club Delta Chapter Hires Conservation Program Coordinator

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Delta Chapter is pleased to announce that we have hired Margie Vicknair-Pray to be Conservation Program Coordinator on a part time basis. Margie comes to us with a wealth of experience in environmental issues activism. She has also been a Sierra Club member and activist so she knows the Club and will be able to step right in to help Delta Chapter to conduct conservation related events and campaigns. Margie has a lengthy resume including technical writing and project development. She was the founding director of the Louisiana Coastal Cleanup program which was eventually adopted by the Louisiana Tourism Commission as a state program. She has worked in the O&G industry doing contract management and safety training. She was the Recycling manager for the City of New Orleans and she developed the Keep Mandeville Beautiful office for the City of Mandeville and worked as an independent consultant on development of recycling programs. She has recently been involved in the fight over fracking in St. Tammany Parish. Margie comes to us with many honors and awards marking her success in civic engagement. Margie is a native New Orleanian who grew up in St Tammany Parish.

We are very happy to have Margie Vicknair-Pray on the Sierra Club team in Louisiana and we look forward to new initiatives from Delta Chapter under her leadership.

Haywood “Woody” Martin, Chair
Sierra Club Delta Chapter

The Louisiana Climate Debacle

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2015 has been a year of striking news on Earth’s climate. The year is the warmest on record, taking that honor from 2014. Among many related bits of disturbing news, glaciers are showing increased retreat, including a major destabilization in Greenland that scientists say will add to higher sea-level rise for decades to come.

These trends have gone largely unremarked in Louisiana, especially by state policymakers. To an outside observer, this might seem strange. Our state is already experiencing one of the highest rates of sea-level rise in the world, due to the combination of global ocean levels and local subsidence (sinking) of deltaic soils. We also have one of the world’s most endangered coasts, and estimates for the cost of repairing it range on the low end from $50 to $70 billion dollars, which the state cannot fund alone.

Don’t Let Irresponsible Members of Congress Kill America’s Conservation Fund

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November 9, 2015

Lafayette, New Orleans – The Delta Chapter of the Sierra Club today urged Louisiana’s Congressional delegation not to support legislation proposed by Representative Ron Bishop (R-Utah), the Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, aimed at undoing the 50 year old Land and Water Conservation Fund.

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund has delivered for America for 50 years,” said Haywood Martin, Chair of the Delta Chapter. “It has created thousands of parks and recreational areas for Americans to enjoy, and it works. The Fund has served the country well since its passage in 1964, and has run smoothly. The majority of its monies come from offshore oil production revenues rather than tax dollars, which would seem to guarantee its support from even the most anti-government member of Congress. But in today’s Congress, nothing works well.”

Martin pointed to over 700 state and local projects created in Louisiana with the Fund’s help since its passage in 1964, and major federal areas as well – twelve National Wildlife Refuges and two National Parks. “These federal lands benefit our state economically as well as environmentally. The National Wildlife Refuges provide key public areas for hunting and fishing, in addition to important wildlife habitat. Louisiana’s two National Parks have brought in hundreds of thousands of visitors and millions of dollars of revenue.”

Press Release - Environmental challenge to La. coal terminal settles out of court

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Environmental Organizations targeting a coal export terminal in Louisiana under the Clean Water Act moved to settle out of court Aug. 18 after the facility's backers agreed to a series of financial and environmental protection obligations.

The parties filed a consent decree on Aug. 18, appealing for a stay to the case under an agreement that United Bulk Terminals Davant, LLC would meet a collection of requirements laid out in the settlement.

The initial legal challenge was filed by environmental advocacy groups, the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, Gulf Restoration Network, and Sierra Club, in March 2014 following allegations that the facility "spilled significant amounts of coal and petroleum coke" at its export terminal in violation of the Clean Water Act.

The settlement was celebrated by local environmental groups as a step towards accountability.

The Environment and the 2014 Election

The Environment & the 2014 Election
Baton Rouge Group of the Sierra Club
September 25, 2014

The Zero Candidate - a letter to newsmedia

Bill Cassidy - The Zero Candidate

The League of Conservation Voters has crafted an Environmental Scorecard for Congress for several decades now. The Scorecard grades voting records for Senators and Representatives in each Session of Congress, as well as lifetime score for each member.

It’s not surprising that Louisiana’s delegation has generally scored poorly, given the political influence of the petrochemical industry in our state. But the scores in the last few years have plummeted for Republican members of the state delegation, reflecting a highly conservative ideology combining hatred of government, disdain for science, and the power of campaign contributions with a lack of regard for America’s natural heritage.

John Bel Edwards at the New Orleans Group Meeting

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The New Orleans Group of the Sierra Club hosts Gubernatorial Candidate John Bel Edwards

John Bel Edwards is a State Representative (D-Amite) from the Tangipahoa Parish area of the North Shore region, and is running for Governor of Louisiana in 2015. At the New Orleans Group monthly meeting, Sunday, September 14th, John Bel will address the SLFPA-East Levee Authority lawsuit and the related legislation from the 2014 legislative session, as well as the fracking ingredient disclosure legislation he passed several years ago. He will also entertain questions at the end of his talk.

Sunday September 14th
6:30 Refreshments

7pm talk

The Sierra Club meets in the Dominion Auditorium at the Audubon Zoo located at 6500 Magazine St, New Orleans, Louisiana 70118.

For more information, visit the Sierra Club Delta Chapter event on Facebook. The program is free and open to everyone.

The Environment and the 2014 Election - Baton Rouge Group Meeting

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"The Environment and the 2014 Election"

A presentation and discussion by the Baton Rouge Sierra Club

Join us for our bi-monthly General Program meeting. This month we'll be reviewing the upcoming Federal Elections for Senate, House of Representatives, other ballot items such as Louisiana Constitutional Amendments, and the consequences for the environment attached to those decisions.

WHEN: Thursday, September 25, 7:00 pm

WHERE: East Baton Rouge Parish Public Library - Goodwood Library Meeting Room B, upstairs. 7711 Goodwood Blvd Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Please visit us at Baton Rouge Group of the Sierra Club for other outings, events, and statements.

Reject Keystone XL Pipeline

Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline

Editorial opinion in The Advertiser on Feb 9, 2014 in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline misses a hugely important point, as does most commentary on the proposed pipeline project. Contrary to oil and fossil fuel industry interests which are confined to promoting short term growth within their industries, the President is charged with broader concerns including the long term prosperity, safety and security of the country. This has to include planning for adaptation to the effects of climate change and reduction of those effects where possible. Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University makes the point that the recently released US State Department report on the Keystone XL fails to address the issue that if the US is to do its share to meet the internationally agreed target of no more than 2 degrees C average global temperature rise, then the country has to control emissions of greenhouse gases to levels that are within an emissions budget including limits on carbon. Development of conventional coal, oil and gas resources is already happening at levels which will cause average temperatures to exceed 2 degrees C. So any approval of a new pathway for development of large scale unconventional sources such as the Canadian tar sands would be a wrong step down the path that leads to the consequences of a destabilized global climate. Louisiana and its coast are especially vulnerable to these effects. If the President chooses to exercise his authority in the best interest of our country he will reject the Keystone XL pipeline.

Haywood Martin, Chair
Sierra Club Delta Chapter

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